It’s not always easy coming up with something to post on your sports-related blog or social media page each week, but if you know one thing about content marketing, it’s that frequent updates are essential to getting new and repeat visitors. Duplicate content – or at least content that’s very similar – will prove obvious to your repeat visitors after a while, and they may not come back. Even search engines can pick up on duplicate content and penalize your site in rankings. Be sure to avoid duplicate content penalties by taking steps to reduce the likelihood.
Hire a Tech Expert
Search engines don’t always pick up actual duplicate, repeat content to penalize – it can even mistakenly do so for similar content on your site, especially if you have a store for your sports team with similar product listings. Digital Current explains that canonical tags can actually reduce the likelihood of mistaken duplicate content. Start by making sure the issue isn’t something easily fixed with technical know-how by having an IT expert go over your site to add canonical tags and 301 redirects.
Be Careful How You Structure Content Series
A weekly digital column, such as a spotlight on a different athlete or an interview with a super fan is a great idea for sports blog writers who have trouble coming up with new topics each week. The skeleton of the content may be the same – you could rely on the same interview questions, for example – but the answers will prove different. However, after many weeks of the same interview questions, search engines could start flagging them as similar enough to count as duplicate and repeat visitors might get bored. To avoid this:
- Write an original introduction to each article, even if you use the same questions and format.
- Change up the interview questions every few weeks; you don’t have to replace them all at the same time
- Include different images (and more than just one image of the interviewee)
- Retire the column after a year or two and come up with a new series
Rely on Visual Media
Although written content is important to a blog or social media profile, it’s far more effective if you include visual media as well. Every post should include different images, even if they’re stock images. From time to time, shoot a video instead of writing content or to go along with a written post. Create original graphics to explain your post’s thesis. Mass Planner reports that infographics are shared and liked on social media three times more often than other forms of media. Visual content is important not only for attracting new and repeat visitors, but also to help differentiate one post from another.
Luckily for sports content writers, there’s always something new to report, whether it’s the team’s latest player acquisition or last night’s scores. However, during the off-season and between big snippets of news, you still need to come up with new content to keep your site updated and traffic numbers high. Taking care not to duplicate content will ensure your efforts to increase traffic with more frequent updates won’t backfire.